It might seem like we are stating the obvious but people do get addicted to credit cards. Just like any addiction, credit card shopping addiction can be broken. You just have to be methodical and strategic about it. If you try to break your habit without getting a full understanding of how it works and what triggers it, you might actually be causing more harm than good since you are taking action before getting a full understanding.
Break the chains of denial
The first step to breaking your plastic addiction is to acknowledge that you have a problem. If you don’t acknowledge that you have an addition and that this is a problem that harms you, you won’t make any progress. Whether you are addicted to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or, yes, credit card spending, the truth is that no progress is possible if you fail to admit that you are addicted. You have to break the chains of denial and face your addition.
Admit that credit card addiction is harmful
Many people can admit they have a problem with credit cards, but all that progress goes out the window when they dismiss the addiction. Some people even excuse their addiction by comparing it to ‘worse’ addictions like sex addiction, drug addiction, or alcoholism. You won’t make any progress if you keep comparing your addiction to other addictions.
You have to realize and acknowledge that your addiction is harmful. Just how bad can it be? How is a lifetime of struggling to pay the bills sound like to you? Not much fun, right? How does a lifetime of worrying about money and feeling pressured sound like to you?
In fact, if you don’t realize how harmful your credit card spending addiction is, you might be digging yourself into the ground since all the stress and worry you feel might find a release in other addictions or generally unhealthy living patterns.
Use the power of 21
Once you have admitted that you have a problem and stopped giving yourself excuses, your next step is to stop using your credit card for frivolous spending for the next 21 days. It won’t be easy and it won’t be pretty. Still, it is necessary. Expect to stumble. Expect to fail.
However, resolve to get back up and keep trying until you hit 21 days. Once you get to 21 days, go for 21 weeks. Once you hit 21 weeks, go on for 21 years. You can do it. There is no other way.